This growing trend in consumers is to value experience over material possessions. If brick and mortar stores weren’t under enough pressure from the online retail industry, now this growing sentiment amongst our customers is another challenge. The one difference here is, perhaps on this consumer trend perhaps the brick and mortar stores can have the advantage over online retailers – but there is one key ingredient missing for that to happen.
In KPMG’s 2019 report on Consumer Trends it states the following: “Millennials are the driving force behind this shift. More than three in four (78 percent) would choose to spend money on an experience or event. 69 percent of respondents said they believe attending live experiences helps them connect better with their friends, their community and people around the world. Since 1987 the share of consumer spending on live experiences and events relative to total US consumer spending increased 70 percent.”
My view of the retail industry of brick and mortar is that small retailers understand this, and large box stores also tend to offer experience focused events for their customers. The KPMG article highlights in the UK an IKEA store that had a sleep over for 100 of their customers, complete with a sleep expert advising on good sleep habits. Stores like Petvalu know their customers, offering $5 nail trimming nights for their animals (clearly an uncomfortable thing for many pet owners to do on their pets) and even a pet friendly Christmas photo session. Smaller stores offer “classes” to introduce people to pottery making, watching the fudge being made (oh smells so good) or trying this new product for fishing at the local sporting show in a tank full of hungry fish. People want to spend their money on something that they can share with their friends, in person or on social media and the product that is purchased becomes the reminder of the great time they had at the event.
The question is how about those ‘multi store’ operations get in the act and why aren’t they? Smaller stores tend to have a very defined mission and purpose – they know their customers really well. Larger stores have unlocked the secret of finding different ways to know their customers – spending money and gathering research and information to figure it out. Multi store operations perhaps have branched into multiple products, they might have multiple customer segments clouding that defined mission and purpose of who their customers are. These multi store operations need a way to gather customer info, examine their trends understand why a customer bought from the website one day, came into the store another. This should be the role of your integrated POS system. Many multistore operations do not have access to their information all in one place – it is in the website system, it is in the POS system and some information is found in the billing/accounting/purchasing system. They don’t have one view. They can’t drill down to customer trends. They don’t quickly see the trends, and the market opportunities as they change dynamically. Your customers also telling the world about their experience at your store – do you even know what’s being said in the broader social media about you and your products? Integrated POS integrates powerful CRM tools to monitor social media – this feedback is instantaneous – for the good or the bad.
Retailtainment should be a brick and mortar stores competitive advantage. If you can’t look at your customers trends, how they interact and what they purchase and why they purchased it from you, and what your customers are saying about you, your store, their experience and the product feedback on social media– then your “Events Planning” efforts will be significantly more difficult.
Talk to a retail expert today, do you have access to the information to help your business know your customer? To put you in touch, promote ideas that resonate with your core, loyal customer – Suddenly Retailtainment doesn’t sound like such a farfetched idea, you just need the information.